216 pages. Kindle Edition. Perfect Paperback. Yapko Publications. P.O. Box 487. Fallbrook, CA 92088-0487
Review Dr Nicole Ruysschaert MD
As pointed out the intention of this book is to give tips for enhancing practitioner’s use of hypnosis. The book opens with an introduction and a part 1 on “Thinking clearly about hypnosis”. In Part 2 you find tips for “Establishing a therapeutic framework”, part 3 deals with tips for “Designing hypnosis sessions”, and part 4 for “Delivering hypnosis sessions”. Each part gives an overview of the tips, followed by in depth information and illustration of each tip.
The book is not a how to do hypnosis book, but rather about “how to do hypnosis better” and indeed you find valuable tips to improve or fine-tune your hypnosis sessions matching the author’s objective to “blend the science of hypnosis with the art of hypnosis.” (p 14)”
Part one lists 24 foundational concepts about hypnosis, the place in treatment, experiential aspects, structure and goal-orientation of sessions, individual differences and responses. The way these are stated invites you to reflect and review your views and knowledge and makes you aware of questions and topics that can be emphasized when you deliver trainings en supervisions. The FC’s could be used as questions to invite students to reflect on some issues or topics.
In Part 2 you get 17 tips for Establishing a therapeutic framework, where rather basic tips and guidelines like psycho-education, previous experiences, suited furniture…, all hypnosis practitioners should know are summed up and explained. Data from the research of cognitive neuroscientists prompt to question the old “trusting the unconscious” view and “see suggestions as having priming characteristics that may influence unconscious processes.” ( p 92)
Part 3 gives you tips #18-41 for Designing Hypnosis Sessions. In reading these tips, you realize the importance to reflect on and prepare sessions to maximize the efficiency of your approach. Developing a view on how to make problems solvable, what to focus on to amplify and why, and the specificity of hypnosis in identifying hypnotic phenomena in client’s symptoms as building blocks to inform/design the hypnotic treatment plan are clearly described. Tip # 26 is perhaps one of the most valuable often overlooked: structure sessions to progress from general to specific, from impersonal examples about “change as inevitable”, to more specific, changes all people go through, to finally more specific and personal about client’s successful changes and resources, to now and a new phase of life with new goals. Accepting and utilizing the fluctuation in involvement and building an increasing level of responsiveness is another example of properly designed hypnosis sessions.
Part 4 gives tips #42-66 for Delivering Hypnosis Sessions, giving some peculiarities on choice of words, style, tone of voice and interaction, timing. You find more details about the role and skills of the therapist, which can be used to improve your own work and also as valuable points of interest, to familiarise your trainees with. Tip #58 tells you to be prepared, and what to do if fi. people get emotional during hypnosis.
The book excels in a clear style, logic structure, knowing what you do and doing what you know, making the art of hypnosis to something more tangible instead of free floating approaches without structure or content. In that respect I can highly recommend it for intermediate/advanced hypnosis practitioners and for professionals giving training and supervision in hypnosis. Reading the book, all information looks like familiar for seasoned practitioners, and nevertheless is very useful to pay attention to different tips summed up in a clear way. Some tips could be re-organized under other topics like #33 #34 #39 #40 (trauma)/ #30 #31 to part 2
The digital version of the book is easy to read with the playbook app, allowing taking notes, highlighting text with a text marker, having it read aloud simultaneously or listening to it as an audio book. The concise book offers plenty of knowledge in a nutshell, easy to read and digest, and particularly useful for people with difficulties to stay focused on long or detailed textbooks.
Dr Nicole Ruysschaert MD Psychiatrist.